Sat 30th Sept 2017 - Falkirk V Kelso (21-54)
BT National League Division 1
Falkirk 21 Kelso 54 half time 7-42
A fine, sunny day welcomed the teams to Cala Park at Falkirk for a game from which Kelso needed a 5 pointer to move up the league table. Injuries to Josh Irvine, Ian Sim and Ian Wallace meant that Kelso had to shake the team up a bit to play what was a very young looking Falkirk team which had been on the wrong end of a couple of high scores in their recent games.
A good kick off by Kelso was dropped by a Falkirk player and the fast following up, Pierre Ebah, dribbled the ball over the home side’s line to dot down for surely the fastest score of the day, if not the season. Craig Dods converted from the touchline.
Kelso continued the good work but a shambles of a scrum allowed Falkirk to move out of their danger zone. The respite, however, did not last long, as Gregor Mein barged over near the posts for the second try which was again converted by Dods.
A little slackness crept in to the Kelso play and from a line out in the visitors’ 22, Falkirk worked the ball to the ex Gala centre, Craig Lawson, who raced in for a try. Scrum half Fionn Call converted to close the gap and give Kelso a wake up call. A scrum in the middle of the field allowed Kris Mein to pick up and feed Andrew Skeen who went off on a curving run from half way resulting in a try under the posts. The conversion by Dods was successful and Kelso were already hunting the bonus point. It was not long in coming when, from a line out with the ball being moved slickly, captain Andy Tait went over. Dods converted that one and straight from the kick off, Heino Gaiser set the ball rolling for a fine passing move involving Skeen and Gregor Mein to set Dods free coming into the line to go over to give himself a straightforward conversion.
Skeen was again able to waltz over for his second try after a driven lineout in the hosts’ red zone. With the successful kick, Kelso were now 42-7 clear and it should have been more by half time as they butchered another opportunity just on the interval.
The second half began with an early chance for Ebah but he was bundled into touch. That was then followed by a huge effort from Falkirk which eventually brought them a try when Call tapped a quick penalty and dashed over for a try at the posts for him to convert. After 60 minutes Kelso seemed to have righted the ship and scored a fine try by Phil Hume who finished off a break out by Skeen and Dods to cover most of the length of the field. Again Dods converted.
What followed was not pretty for a Kelso supporter as Kelso spoiled their good work in the first half by a succession of penalties and handling errors. In fact, for a lengthy spell in the game, they hardly got their hands on the ball. Falkirk’s efforts were rewarded with 5 minutes to go when their captain, Stuart McCulloch, bulldozed over for a try after a driven line out. Call converted and Falkirk had appeared now within clutching distance of a bonus point.
An intervention by the assistant referee for foul play, and then a yellow card directed at Kieran Cooney for a trip, reduced Kelso to 14 players for the remainder of the game but there was still time for Kelso to score the final try when some Skeen magic was taken on by Gregor Mein to feed the debutant winger, Connor Gillon, to score a length of the field try. Disappointingly for Craig Dods he missed the conversion which would have given him 8 out of 8 for the day.
Kelso came away with a big win by 54 to 21 and the expected 5 points but some work to do as they face Gala and Selkirk over the next couple of games!